“So I’ve been waiting to feel less angry,” she said. “And when I’m ready, I’ll say what I have to say.”
You guys. If you have seen the video that has now gone viral, did you feel the powerful flood of emotion?
I watched this in my office and I have to tell you.
I slow clapped.
And then I watched it again, only this time I stood up.
And by the third time I watched, I wanted nothing more than to watch it again and again and again and again feeling more and more empowered each time.
I believe every single one of us has been there in some capacity. And I’m not just talking about sexual assault. I’m referring to all kinds of inappropriate behavior. I’m talking about all the ways the actions of a family member or those we called ‘friends’ or co-workers or a complete stranger has left us feeling incapacitated.
In a moment where something forbidden took place and we kept silent to protect others.
In a moment where we have been blindsided by a malicious act and left disillusioned.
In a moment where we felt powerless due to the repulsive actions of someone we knew.
In a moment where the venomous words of someone we once trusted stained us.
By their damaging comments.
By the way in which they spew gossip.
By the way they have treated someone you love.
By the way they have failed you.
In a way they hurt you, personally.
I’m not usually one to pause. Too often, I’ve conveyed anger in the heat of the moment. Too often, I’ve spoken too soon. Too often, I’ve expressed feelings that I haven’t fully processed and regretted things I’ve said. Because in those moments, things are raw. The pain stings. The hurt is at a level ten.
So maybe, in certain circumstances, waiting to feel less angry before speaking allows us the ‘pause’ we need in order to first compose ourselves.
And in the silence of waiting, things not spoken will resonate louder than any words of anger ever could.
So thank you, Uma. Thank you for helping me recognize that sometimes it’s best to pause. Breathe. Gather my thoughts. Be still in the moment. Because being brave and speaking up isn’t always easy when it comes to protecting our hearts and our souls and our very being.
Going into battle is a lot more successful if we are prepared. And since words are often the weapon of choice, the ‘pause’ just might be the most strategic stage of planning when it comes to the power behind our voice and winning.
Own it, sister. You are beautiful.